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A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya Recent interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs has given the st written history of the New World as it existed before the European invasion In this book, two of the st central figures in the effort to decode the glyphs, Linda Schele amp; David Freidel, detail this history A Forest of Kings is the story of Maya kingship, from the beginning of its institution amp; the st great pyramid buildersyears ago to the decline of Maya civilization amp; its destruction by the Spanish Here the great rulers of preColumbian civilization come to life again with the decipherment of their writing At its height, Maya civilization flourished under great kings like ShieldJaguar, who ruled for overyears, expanding his kingdom amp; building some of the most impressive works of architecture in the ancient world Long placed on a mistshrouded pedestal as austere, peaceful stargazers, Maya elites are now known to have been the rulers of populous, aggressive citystates Hailed as a Rosetta stone of Maya civilization Brian M Fagan, author of People of the Earth, A Forest of Kings is a must for interested readers, says Evon Vogt, Harvard anthropology professor


10 thoughts on “A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    The joy of this book is that it was one of the first to be published after the major breakthrough in understanding the Maya script. No longer were we in the serene world of priestly astronomers but of the would be big beasts of the political jungle asserting their greatness, heritage and deeds on steles.

    The obvious limitation is that a


  2. Erik Graff Erik Graff says:

    I visited the NE Yucatan three times in the 1990s, devoting most of my time to hiking the coast and, with the help of young Maya, trekking overland to ruins they'd tell me of. Preparatory to these trips I'd read some of the literature, much of it dated. This then is one of the first books I've read which purports to be based on the recent decoding


  3. Kavita Kavita says:

    The book started off very slowly and made some assumptions that only Westerners would be reading this book. I also found it hard to believe that rain dance of the Mayans worked and that historians must treat those customs with respect. These things in the beginning almost made me give up on the book, but the later chapters became more and more profe


  4. Timothy Boyd Timothy Boyd says:

    This is the 2nd book I have recently read on the Maya. Like the other book this one was heavily written from a more archeological view than a historical view. The writer does try to fill out the history with reimagined events of everyday life of the Maya based on the archeological evidence. Not recommended unless you are greatly into reading archeolo


  5. Kyle Kyle says:

    This book is a great showcase of what we lost when the great Linda Schiele died. Though obviously the book is a bit outdated (we just know more about the Maya, particularly their written languages, now than when this book was written), it still holds surprising relevance to Mayan studies today. The technical information is presented in an accessible f


  6. Jesse Jesse says:

    Linda Schele rules! and i hope all the mysteries of the maya were revealed to her when she entered xibalba. and I know she will trick the gods of death and emerge from the turtles back as a resplendent world tree shining under the mesoamerican sun!


  7. Silvio Curtis Silvio Curtis says:

    Given that this book assumes no previous knowledge and sometimes words things melodramatically, but packs its information pretty densely, I'm guessing that it's intended as an introductory college textbook. The first chapter covers basics of pre-conquest Maya culture, and the last chapter discusses the collapse of Classic civilization and a little about


  8. AskHistorians AskHistorians says:

    This was a landmark book when it was published detailing the history of the Maya world based off the newly translated hieroglyphs. Linda Schele was the epigrapher of the Maya world up until her death and her work, including this one, made landmark strides in the field. This is a must read for those just getting into the Maya region and wanting to know th


  9. Chris Chris says:

    Co-written by one of the most prominent Maya scholars of the 20th century, the late Linda Schele, this book examines the Mayan civilization through its linguistic legacy. Showing the processes which helped decipher a large amount of Mayan inscription, this book also describes their genealogical legacy as described through the Mayan stelae record.


  10. Ryan Ryan says:

    Read ages ago on a trip to Honduras where I visited several Mayan sites. In general, reading about a place on a trip to the place usually reflects poorly on either the place or the literature. In this case, the literature suffered. But there is a lot of human sacrifice to keep the story in the red.


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